Recently a friend forwarded me a cautionary e-mail. It reported that a couple in Canada had parked for an errand, and as they walked away from their car, the driver used the remote on his key fob to lock the doors. When the Can adians returned to their car five minutes later, it had been stripped of a laptop and a cell phone. The police were summoned.
Probably every churchgoer can say how his or her church is changing or has changed. It is much more difficult to know whether the experience of any particular congregation fits into a larger pattern. We need a bird’s-eye view to answer such questions.
I did not own one for ages. The first reason was personal: driving the car was a kind of Sabbath for me, with nothing to do but listen to music and watch the scenery. Why muck that up with a ringing telephone? The second reason was ecological: if I detested the microwave towers that were springing up all over the countryside, then why participate in their proliferation?
At 6:18 p.m. EDT on May 19, 1998, the primary control processor of the Galaxy 4 satellite failed. Twenty-two thousand miles below, millions of Americans discovered that their pagers and credit cards no longer worked. The failure disrupted video feeds, meaning that CBS, Reuters news service and National Public Radio had to scramble to find an alternate means of transmitting their programs.
Denizens of Washington, D.C., are the most addicted, but more Atlantans do it in church. A new 20-city survey on “e-mail addiction,” released by America Online, said the nation’s capital is the most afflicted—no surprise to anyone who’s witnessed that city’s “crackberry” epidemic.
We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us,” Winston Churchill said to Parliament in 1943 after Nazi bombs destroyed the House of Commons. Churchill’s intuition was that the physical places we construct and inhabit shape the nature of our discourse.
I am not a high-tech person. That’s partly due to age, partly to disposition. The very mention of my technological skills sets my colleagues and family to snickering. I never thought I’d be an anachronism and I’m not particularly proud of it. But I do find myself resisting some of the places the new technology wants to take me.
While vacationing in Orlando, Florida, my wife and I visited the “Terminator 2 Show” at Universal Studios. We entered the studio and received special 3-D glasses. When we peered through the glasses, the length and width of the images on the movie screen were deepened and our experience enhanced.